As you close out this past year and reflect on the first full year without any shutdowns as 2020 brought us, it makes sense to step back and take a look at your numbers. This is the case whether you are in your first year of practice ownership, have owned your practice for ten years, or you are getting closer and closer to retirement. You should always be managing your practice to your numbers while keeping the number one goal of taking care of your patients to the best of your ability.
So that all sounds great, but how do you manage to your numbers? The first step is grabbing your Profit and Loss statement and a Production by Provider or Production by Procedure report for 2020. If you know Microsoft Excel, you can input the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. If you don’t know Excel, you can grab your handy-dandy calculator.
Most numbers you manage to are calculated based on a percentage of your gross collections. That’s the top number on your profit and loss statement. You should take the number after returns or other credits to gross revenue. Some Profit and Loss statements may call this number Profit and others will call it Revenue.
The first number to look at is your staff expense as a percentage of revenue. Add your staff salaries, payroll tax for staff, and staff benefits. Divide that total by revenue. Your target should be about 25% of revenue. If you’re slightly above 25%, don’t worry, increasing collections while keeping staff salaries flat will help you improve this number. If you’re over 35% and you really don’t think you can improve collections, you should analyze your staff. Maybe you have too many, or maybe your staff that is overpaid. These days, it’s easy to overpay staff since they’re hard to come by. Time and time again, when we look at practice numbers, this is one of the biggest profitability killers.
The next number to look at is facilities expense as a percentage of collections. This includes your base rent plus any of the common areas that you pay for and other facilities expense – garbage, parking lot maintenance, etc. This expense should not be more than 7% to 9% of revenue. If you are significantly higher than this number, you are not maximizing your facility, overpaying on rent, or you have too big of space for what you need. You can either increase collections or decide to downsize your space, sublease space, or do something else that will help get your numbers down in the 7% to 9% range.
Dental Supplies expense is something else to look at. Divide Dental Supplies expense by revenue. The target is 6% of revenue. If you’re a few percentage points off, don’t worry about it. If you’re at 12% to 15% or higher, you may have supplies walking out the door, overstocking your supply cabinet, or you’re buying top-end products. This should be a quick fix if you have a meeting with your person that orders supplies and give them a budget.
Lab expense is similar to dental supplies. If you’re a basic crown and bridge practice, you should be at 7% to 9% of revenues if you don’t use a milling machine in-house or you don’t place a lot of implants. The latter two will skew the numbers. Negotiate with your lab if you are higher than 7% to 9%. If you’re with a high-end lab, you’re at 12% and love their work, don’t change labs. You’re only a few points off. You can make up the difference elsewhere.
The other quick measure is hygiene as a percentage of total collections. Take your Production by Provider report or Production by Procedure report and figure out how much of collections are coming out of hygiene as a percentage of total revenue. The target is to be above 30% of revenue coming from your hygiene program. If you’re in the low 20% or less and you have a general dental practice, you should take a look at your hygiene schedule and see how many patients they’re seeing per day. Maybe their schedule isn’t full, or maybe hygiene is booked out for several months and the hygienist can’t keep up. You will need to analyze this for yourself.
Looking at your numbers is something all business owners do to help them manage their practice. These are a few simple numbers that you can quickly measure a few times per year, make a few changes and you can get your overhead down below the national average of 65%. Best wishes on the New Year and may your overhead be under control.Read More
By Dr. Mehmood Asghar
When you walk into your dental office and see your staff members bustling around you, you might assume they are working productively. But your staff and employees are constantly trying their best to catch up with their daily tasks; they are just busy – not productive.
A successful dental practice is one where routine tasks are streamlined, and all processes run smoothly. If despite your best effort, you and your team fail to achieve your key performance indicator (KPI) goals, it is time to make some changes. Here are 4 things that you can implement in your dental practice to improve productivity and ensure that your training runs smoothly:
1. Invest in Good Practice Management Software
A practice management software is not just necessary for billing purposes or to manage patient records. Modern practice management software takes most of the burden off your team’s shoulders and automates various processes. For example, instead of writing individual appointment reminder emails to patients, the software can automatically send reminders and even reschedule appointments if needed.
Besides, with modern software, you don’t need to maintain your material inventory manually. You can simply assign a barcode to all the products, and the system will record the information regarding the quantity and expiry dates of each item. The system will automatically inform you if any material is short in supply or is about to expire.
Most importantly, good practice management software allows you to manage your finances – cut unnecessary spending and increase spending in areas that matter, like buying new equipment, refurbishing the waiting room, etc. The software will provide you with a detailed overview of your earnings and expenditures, and help you identify exactly where you’re leaking money.
2. Buy State-of-the-art Equipment
Being a successful clinician requires two major things: clinical expertise and the right armamentarium. Investing in modern diagnostic or therapeutic equipment will help you improve your treatment outcome, reduce treatment time and increase productivity. For example, it would be a good idea to invest in a desktop 3D printer: instead of waiting for 1-2 weeks for your lab to prepare a patient’s crowns, why not print them chairside in one day?
Fortunately, 3D printers are much more cost-effective today than they were a few years ago. According to research by SmarTech Analysis, in-office dental 3D printers, capable of printing surgical models, implant templates, clear aligners, and even dental prostheses, may cost less than $5000 by 2021.
You may also consider investing in 3D imaging technology. Today, dental implants have become the most favorable and desirable tooth replacement option. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 2.3 million implant-supported crowns are made annually in the US alone. With this considerable reliance on dental implants for tooth replacement, it only makes sense to invest in equipment that aids in implant therapy. Cone-beam CT (CBCT) technology considerably improves the clinical outcome of implant and other oral surgical procedures. Besides, this technology can also be used in the early diagnosis and management of oral disease and malignancies.
3. Automate Processes
Did you know that a significant time of your employees is spent in the sterilization control room? This is not because they are lazy; it’s because they have to frequently wash, clean, and sterilize dental instruments – either because of a small autoclave machine or due to increased patient flow. Regardless of the main reason, you can improve your team’s productivity by buying a fully automated sterilization system, which takes away the multiple, time-consuming steps involved in manually sterilizing the instruments. The initial cost of such equipment might be high, but it will prove a worthwhile investment in the long run, especially considering the time saved.
4. Staff Training and Workshops
While seemingly unessential, staff training and workshops to refresh/upgrade their clinical skills and enhance their expertise in inpatient/data management software go a long way in improving their efficiency. These workshops also ensure that all staff members remember their roles and responsibilities, thereby streamlining the work in your practice.
No matter how good a clinician one is, they cannot run a successful practice unless they are seasoned managers. According to the statistics provided by the American Dental Association, the average hours worked by dentists in 1900 were 1,810.6, compared to 1448.8 hours in 2020. This downward trend shows the impact of the latest technology and good practice management in increasing dental office efficiency, productivity, and earnings. So, follow the tips given in this article to convert your practice into an efficient, productive, and profitable business.
Author bio: Dr. Mehmood Asghar is a dentist, an educator, and a researcher in dental biomaterials. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Dental Biomaterials at the National University of Medical Sciences, Pakistan, in addition to pursuing a Ph.D. in Dental Biomaterials. Apart from his professional activities, Dr. Asghar loves reading, writing, and working out.Read More
Experts estimate that more than 40 percent of dentists are embezzled with an average loss of $50,000. But, because the embezzlers often steal small amounts of money over many years, the thief is never noticed. The US chamber of commerce estimated that 75 percent of employees steal from their workplace and that most do so repeatedly.
A majority of people, if given an opportunity, will take advantage of a situation to steal from their employer on the following frequency:
-3 percent will steal daily
-7 percent will steal weekly
-20 percent will steal 4-12 times a year
-70 percent will steal 1-2 times a year
-4 in 10 doctors experience theft in some form from the practice. 1 in 4 dental practices experience monetary theft from their practice.
The significant types of theft in dental practices are:
-Goods and services in Kind
All types of theft can hurt the bottom line of the practice. The Monetary thief, in most cases, has the most negative effect on the practice bottom line. Most dentists find it hard to believe that their handpicked, trusted, longer-term staff would steal from the practice.
Here is an unfortunate, and real-life, example. A dentist had a highly successful practice with five employees. One was a long-term office manager who came to work early and left late every day. She managed all the financial transactions daily along with the insurance and statement billing. The office manager took an extended vacation. While she was gone, the office sent out statements and received numerous calls from patients that their statement was incorrect and that either their insurance had paid the bill, or they paid on the day of service by check or credit card. The doctor had the staff investigate all the disputes and found out that the office manager had embezzled more than one hundred thousand dollars over the years. He was devasted and could not believe that the long-term, most trusted employee had done this to him.
Methods that have been used by staff to steal from the practice:
- Zero Charge- Patient comes in for services, and the office staff member posts a zero-balance charge and pockets the money. At the end of the day, the computer collections balance to the deposit slip. No one notices.
- Falsify Deposit Slip– Employee brings the doctor a deposit slip to sign for the day matching all the collections taken in for the day but then takes out all the cash from the deposit bag or envelope and changes the deposit slip when depositing the money.
- Multiple Adjustments to Accounts- Courtesy discounts like cash discounts or senior discounts are used. Employee charges the full amount to the patients and keeps the cash discounts and pockets it.
- Fictitious Vendor- Employee sets up a fake business with an account and has doctor sign supply order checks for supplies. The employee deposits these checks into an account and keeps the money.
Make sure that even your closest friend in the dental practice is being watched. Here are some suggested internal controls to help prevent thief and embezzlement:
- Segregation of Duties– Make sure one person does not control all cash flow processes.
- Daily Audit Trail– Review daily transactions to catch zero balance postings.
- Rotate Duties– This will help to reduce the chance for embezzlement.
- Verify the End-day Report to Deposit Slip– Ensure that you see the end-of-day report and it balances with cash deposits. The doctor should be responsible for depositing funds in the bank.
- Review Bank Statement– Take time to review the statements monthly.
- Require Vacations– All employees must take vacation days that they have earned.
- Performance Plans– If the practice meets specific goals and the practice is increasing its revenue, give incentives to employees in monetary form.
- Background Checks- Make sure you follow through on background checks before hiring new employees.
- Verify References- Check all references.
Having internal controls will help protect the practice and staff that are honest and want to do a good job. It will also help everyone stay focused on their tasks and goals at hand and take away the opportunity for someone to embezzle. You don’t want to have good employees turn into liabilities.
Omni Practice Group has been helping dentists for over 15 years developing plans for dentists to transition their practice. Our goal is to help you find the right buyer and make a smooth transition of your practice when the time is right. Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation with one of our Practice Transition Advisors.Read More
What you receive when you come to the GIG M.BF. Entrepreneurial Mastermind Summit:
The GIG M.B.F. Entrepreneurial Summit is designed as a total support system for Dentists/entrepreneurs with their sights set on “sky’s-the-limit” growth and the freedom to create the kind of richly satisfying life they dreamed of when they made the decision to become a dentist.
With all the changes in dentistry and transitions with our world and life, this summit will be a way to re-energize, renew and rediscover new ways to keep our practices growing and thriving.
The GIG M.B.F. Entrepreneurial Summit is about you and your growth. You decide on your most important goals and on your game plan. We provide the structure, tools, and support that give you a new perspective on your business and a fresh way of thinking – and keep you on track to turn your new goals into reality, and to keep us moving forward.
Here’s how that happens:
1. GIG team founders, speakers, and Mastery Leadership Directors will facilitate and provide the structure for each Entrepreneurial Mastermind Summit. Much of the learning and success will come from being and interacting with like-minded dentists who encourage, challenge, and support each other.
2. At the GIG Summit, you’ll have plenty of time to focus on and strategize what’s most pressing in your business right now – and get objective feedback from the GIG team and the other successful dentists in the room. Fresh perspectives and breakthrough insights are inevitable, making it a mind-stretching, life-changing two-and-a-half-days.
3. At the end of the two-and-a-half-day Mastermind Summit, you’ll leave armed with new thinking and tools PLUS a plan with prioritized, concrete action steps for the next 6 to 12 months to share with your team. New ideas are energizing, but it’s the clarity about the action steps needed that get things done.
4. GIG Summit will provide entrepreneurial tools, support material, etc. which will accelerate learning of the different “modules.” Each dentist will end up individualizing their learning.
Why GIG Summit Now?
Growth Into Greatness Institute over the last two decades has supported Dentists through all types of practice transitions. This community of dentists will be actively engaged in new growth, tools, and support to keep reaching higher goals and personal, professional aspirations.
We have intentionally rescheduled this meeting for October 21-23, 2021, because we expect the Coronavirus to have been defeated by then and dentists will want to return to C.E. and professional growth, profitability, and success. A like-minded community of dentists sharing their experiences in this “rebirth” will surely be beneficial to everyone. Enrollment applications and RSVPs are now being accepted. The time is now We all need each other to be strong. Let’s press on together!Read More
By Kevin Brady, Practice Transition Advisor
Transitioning the practice is probably one of the biggest decisions a dentist will make in their career. Deciding whether to transition the practice to a partner, associate, a new dentist, or corporate dentistry, you will need a plan and experts to help you make the right decision.
3 to 5 Years Before Retirement
Having a financial plan when you are 3-5 years out from selling your practice will allow you to know what the total value of your assets are and what value is needed from your practice to afford to retire. Knowing the value of the practice 3-5 years out will also allow you to focus on reducing debt, increasing production, and collections, which are critical factors in determining the practice valuation.
When developing your financial plan, you will need to have your CPA do a thorough review and analysis of your financials and advise of any necessary adjustments. This would include family members on the payroll who don’t work in the office, expenses that are above industry averages, and other expense benefits being run through the practice. Review your internal and external marketing programs with your marketing professional to focus on increasing new patients and adding additional revenue to the practice.
1 to 2 Years Before Retirement
Once you have an established financial plan and are 1-2 years from retirement, you need to find a dental broker to help with a practice valuation and options for selling your practice.
The benefits of enlisting a professional dental broker are:
- Independent and accredited appraisal of your practice’s worth, the patient population, equipment, and, if applicable, the real estate.
- Knowing what your minimum sales price will need to be to meet your financial goals to retire.
- Exploring the different buyer options for the sale and which one is right for you.
- Developing a marketing plan for your practice that will keep it confidential until a buyer is found.
- Determining the average length of time it will take to market and sell your practice.
- Identifying what improvements or changes could make the practice more attractive to potential buyers.
1 Year or Less Before Retirement
It is time to implement your plan to sell the practice. The average practice takes 6-8 months to sell Pre COVID-19. Some rural practices might average 18 -24 months to sell. Enlisting a professional broker will save you time putting together a marketing prospectus and then marketing the practice locally and nationally. A broker can also assist you with updating your valuation to determine the asking price for the practice. Keys areas to focus on with less than a year are reducing as much debt as possible and keeping the hygiene and doctor production as high as possible.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new considerations for anyone who is considering selling their dental practice. Selling a dental practice doesn’t happen overnight. Developing a plan with experts can ensure you get what you want out of a sale while maximizing your dental practice’s value and allowing for a smooth transition to the purchaser.
Omni Practice Group has been helping dentists for over 15 years develop plans for dentists to transition their practice. Our goal is to help you find the right buyer and make a smooth transition of your practice when the time is right.
Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation with one of our Practice Transition Advisors. We are here to help – Kevin@omni-pg.com.
Want to learn more? Attend our webinar on Friday, February 19 – Dental Practice Valuations: How Much Is Your Practice Worth? Sign up here!Read More